My students are putting in abysmal effort lately, and I’m feeling like a failure of a teacher. I know that’s not really true, but their test scores have been bad lately and I don’t know how to fix this issue. How can I make them try? On one level it’s up to them to put in that effort, but many are solidly not right now and seem pretty fine with that. Tips on how to address this? We’ve had a few class talks and I’ve spoken to kids individually but I don’t know whether I need to become a “mean teacher” or whether I should try to add more fun. They are sitting totally passively and not paying attention. If I give them group work, they waste time. If I cold call for answers, they’re not prepared. So it seems like I’m asking them to work silently a lot, but their assessments show they’re struggling.